How to Deal with Someone Who Only Texts You

Have you ever encountered a friend or colleague who refuses to call you, but just can't seem to stop compulsively texting?

Richie Frieman,
April 4, 2016
Episode #382

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When dealing with an Over Texter you have to remember that texting is a form of being an introvert. Different levels for sure, but when someone finds texting is better than talking, you can’t try to kick their shyness overnight. Instead, I recommend aiming for quality face time. When you finally get a poor communicator in front of you, you have to milk it for all that’s it’s worth. You can’t let someone who prefers email or texting over verbal communication a chance to hide in their digital shell. So, to pull the plug on a Relationship Over Texter you have to use the in person time to express—and talk about—your severe frustration. Be honest, be open, and be real about it. This is where being an adult will pay off. You have to make a pact that even if in baby steps, they’ll agree to lessen the texts. Seriously, baby steps. Settle for little wins at first, and continue to build on them. Don’t think of this as giving in … simply look at this as working with an introvert the best way possible. If the relationship matters, you have to find a common ground, even if it’s utterly frustrating.

Tip #3: The Corporate Over Texter

Oy vey, is the Corporate Over Texter the worst to deal with? This person. Drives. Me. NUTS! As professionals, we’re on our phones the entire day, so why not pick one up? Wow, a shocker, right?  I mean, it’s right in your hand! It works great for email and Facebook, but I promise you that it does wonders for verbal communication. In fact, just the other day, I was walking down the hall when I texted a Corporate Over Texter to see if he could chat for ten minutes. Well, wouldn’t you know it but said Corporate Over Texter was actually walking my way. They saw my text and as they past me said, “Can’t talk but we’ll chat in a few.” “Great!” I thought. Finally, words!  Well, about five minutes later I received a text that read, “So, what’s up?” Now, here I felt that I was falling into the Over Texter Vortex … so I called him. Sadly, I got no answer, only a text back, “What’s up?” And around and around we go, right?

As professionals, we’re on our phones the entire day, so why not pick one up?

Now, understanding that smartphones are the go-to tool for professionals, I knew this particular Corporate Over Texter preferred typing over talking, but I could not tolerate it anymore. This issue involved more than just a black and white back and forth; I needed words. So, playing on the fact that time is money and this issue was critical, I typed back, “Too important to text. We need to talk.” Well, wouldn’t you know it? It worked. I now had their attention and five minutes later we were face-to-face meeting. Remember in Tip #2 when I talked about the value of face to face? Well in business, it’s critical. Use that to combat the Corporate Over Texter. Text them the urgency of the issue and how you have to speak over the phone. Don’t let them dance around the issue. Be stern and get in a rhythm with them so they know when you call or text, “We have to talk” that you mean business (no pun intended… OK, maybe a little). Even if the Corporate Over Texter is shady communicating with other people, at least make sure your issues are a call-only. And then tell everyone in the office to read this episode. TTYL.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career, check out my new book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

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